Tandy 1000, Lo-Tech XT/IDE, CF and DOS 3.x

Discussion about old PC hardware.

Re: Tandy 1000, Lo-Tech XT/IDE, CF and DOS 3.x

Postby Tom Servo » 2018-11-11 @ 19:06

Thanks again for the info. I appreciate it.
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Re: Tandy 1000, Lo-Tech XT/IDE, CF and DOS 3.x

Postby wolvenar » 2018-11-29 @ 10:42

I do not want to hijack this thread, but since this is one of the few active threads on this machine on pretty much any site, I hope it's my best chance to get somewhere, maybe you can shed some light on my troubles since you have a working system. I have a Tandy 1000sx that no matter the bios in my ISA-CF adapter will not boot a formatted CF, even though in a newer Tandy (2100) with the exact same ISA-CF adapter card etc it boots fine. The 1000sx gets the the Boot C and does not progress
The CF card is 4GB partitioned, formatted as 2.1GB, and has DOS 6.22 installed with nothing else at the moment.
Is there a partition size limitation, a jumper, switch or something simple I am overlooking?
Thank you anyone who answers for your attention and time.
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Re: Tandy 1000, Lo-Tech XT/IDE, CF and DOS 3.x

Postby BloodyCactus » 2018-11-29 @ 13:41

I have xt-cf-lite in my 1000sx no problems but my partitions are 31mb on DOS 3.31, Does your XT-IDE adapter have an XT or AT bios in it? Do you have an 8088 or did you upgrade your sx to an NEC V20?

btw, DOS6 is not much good on the 1000sx. DOS3 will give you the most free memory.
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Re: Tandy 1000, Lo-Tech XT/IDE, CF and DOS 3.x

Postby wolvenar » 2018-11-29 @ 20:16

XT Bios flashed with an eeprom writer. It is using the 12kb build atm to try troubleshooting However I do have the V-20, that is if its a legit one and not a reprinted top. I bought on ebay and have yet to get anything meaningful to run to test if it is the real deal as I received it 2 days ago. It won't use the 8186 builds so I am not sure yet. It hangs at the 640kb check. I am aware of the memory usage of 6.22 but at the moment, of all my old disks these are the only fully working ones that I could use to format anything. I'll have to work out means to write others I guess.

I have seen another post where 256mb seems to be the upper limit of boot-able partitions, so this may be my problem.
This 1000sx developed a problem shortly after I first got it to work. The floppy controller is not sending the needed signals to the drives to step through tracks. I see a YouTuber or two seems to have this same problem. I'll get it on the scope eventually to work out the problem, but in the meantime I am using the Tandy 2100 to format the CF

Thank you for the info, I might be on the right track now ( partition size ) Not entirely sure why but next thing to try I guess.
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Re: Tandy 1000, Lo-Tech XT/IDE, CF and DOS 3.x

Postby Jo22 » 2018-11-30 @ 00:59

wolvenar wrote:XT Bios flashed with an eeprom writer.

Wait, please tell - did you run the XT-IDE configuration utilitiy for DOS beforehand ?
If not, this might be part of the issue. Afaik, it writes some vital data to the ROM file when saving the settings (checksum, etc.).
Anyway, it's just a guess.. I had some similar issues once and made a little video because of that.
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Re: Tandy 1000, Lo-Tech XT/IDE, CF and DOS 3.x

Postby wolvenar » 2018-11-30 @ 04:59

No, I didn't run the configuration utility. I did not realize this would be necessary. I have done this with a few other systems without trouble.
I cannot get software to run on that machine atm because the floppy controller, which once worked when I first got this, will not step the heads of drives now. This is one of the main reasons I am trying to do this. One day I'll be able to make the time it could take to get this on the bench with a scope and figure the floppy drive problem out. It has to be a non socketed IC at this point, as I have tried swaps in everything relevant. I was hoping though that I wouldn't need to worry to much about the floppy drives given their troubles. At first I thought that the last 360k drive I had failed, but a Gotek setup with Flash Floppy and proper 360k images do not work in this either. It acts like its accessing the drive, but the step pulse is just not there.
This Gotek floppy emu setup boots the Tandy 2100 as well. I actually plan to use it to repartition and format the CF card to ~200mb and DOS 3.3.
I am not home until weekends to work on this so, Sat I'll have more hands on I can report.

On the todo list:
Install DOS 3.3 on CF with partitions smaller that 256mb
Reconfigure the current best working ROM with more customized settings. *EDIT* I notice you do not need to run this on the desired machine.

With this in mind, Would a preconfigured image for a Tandy 1000sx from another working machine do?
I would assume most are going to be pretty much the same.?.
Again thanks everyone for the help.
Is it a good idea to fork this to another thread?
I really don't want to step on the OPs thread unless its ok with them.
I thought though it might be a good place find someone that was currently working with one of these (the OP).
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Re: Tandy 1000, Lo-Tech XT/IDE, CF and DOS 3.x

Postby wolvenar » 2018-12-13 @ 11:04

OK, sorry for the late update. I reformatted the CF to DOS 3.3 limits, (32mb), transferred the system etc and it boots great.
I'll make a new thread on the floppy controller fix here on Vogons when I get to the point I can tackle the project.


Thanks to everyone that responded.
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Re: Tandy 1000, Lo-Tech XT/IDE, CF and DOS 3.x

Postby wolvenar » 2018-12-17 @ 13:06

I can affirm that there IS a limit on partition size with the Tandy 1000sx. Even with DOS 6.22 it will only address 256mb partitions.
Apparently you also cannot use that additional space on the CF for more partitions either?
This is apparently why I could not boot from the CF setup on a later model system.
I have seen it mentioned on the net before, so maybe I am just slow and out of the loop?
I also tried multiple CF, and various builds of the XTIDE BIOS including the 186 build for the NEC v-20 I have in this system.

Is there possibly something else I am missing, or is this a normal limitation?
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Re: Tandy 1000, Lo-Tech XT/IDE, CF and DOS 3.x

Postby Jo22 » 2018-12-17 @ 14:58

wolvenar wrote:Is there possibly something else I am missing, or is this a normal limitation?

Hard to say. In my place, getting an overpriced Amiga 1000 is easier than getting a Tandy 1000.. :(
That's why I am, like some others here are, unable to perform any testing in that regards.
Strictly speaking, the Tandy 1000 is rather a PC Jr. clone than an PC/XT compatible also,
so there might be some quirks or limits within the Tandy 1000 architecture I / we don't know of yet.
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Re: Tandy 1000, Lo-Tech XT/IDE, CF and DOS 3.x

Postby wolvenar » 2018-12-19 @ 22:52

That's interesting to hear that they are tough to come by..
I actually have 2 that were given to me. One is a 1000a ( in BAD shape) and then the 1000sx I have been concentrating on first.
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Re: Tandy 1000, Lo-Tech XT/IDE, CF and DOS 3.x

Postby Jo22 » 2018-12-20 @ 01:00

Hi, it depends on where you live, I guess. Here in Europe, the Tandy 1000 isn't very common to find.
In Canada, for example, I suppose it might be easier to get hold of than an early Amiga computer model.
This reminds me of my old Sharp MZ-700. from what I read it (along with the 800 series) was well known in Japan, GB, W-Germany and
Czechoslovakia (?) for a while, while the rest of the world never really heard of it (except Australia, maybe). Gratefuly, this is different with the Tandy 1000. :)
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In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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Re: Tandy 1000, Lo-Tech XT/IDE, CF and DOS 3.x

Postby Tom Servo » 2018-12-26 @ 04:12

Hi, Jo22.

Thank you for the PM. I do not have access to that feature yet. Merry Christmas and a happy new year to you, too.
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Re: Tandy 1000, Lo-Tech XT/IDE, CF and DOS 3.x

Postby Jo22 » 2018-12-26 @ 15:28

Thanks! Your're welcome. Merry Christmas everyone. ^^
"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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Re: Tandy 1000, Lo-Tech XT/IDE, CF and DOS 3.x

Postby infiniteclouds » 2018-12-27 @ 02:05

To you as well
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Re: Tandy 1000, Lo-Tech XT/IDE, CF and DOS 3.x

Postby Jo22 » 2019-1-04 @ 14:34

Thank you! I also wish you a happy new year! ^^
"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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Re: Tandy 1000, Lo-Tech XT/IDE, CF and DOS 3.x

Postby Jo22 » 2019-1-12 @ 02:42

Hi everyone, just found something that could be useful to you or whoever may browses this thread somewhen.
It's JrIDE, an adaption of XTIDE for the IBM PC Junior (incl. hardware). I have no idea how well it works with a Tandy 1000,
especially since it also interferes with memory settings, but maybe it is more compatible to it than the stock XTIDE version
(since the PC Jr. once was more or less the role model for the Tandy).
http://www.brutman.com/jrIDE/jrIDE.html
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